Patch readers had a lot to say about blogger Jim Tampellini's opinion that the are the ever-increasing salaries of its teachers and administrators. It argues that the district has begun paying teachers and other district employees beyond what it can realistically afford.
The following is a round-up of what our readers had to say. Keep the conversation going and post your thoughts in the comment section below.
wrote, "Who the hell are these quacks who determine when they get raises and how money is spent? If the system was run by brain dead monkeys we'd been in better shape than we are now. Unbelievable."
commented, "I think it's about time the public start going after school employees about their salaries just as they did about the Wall $treet salaries and salaries of CEO's and other executive officers. There needs to be some sort of relief. But guess what? The schools have unlimited funds, that's US, the public. Despite the tax caps and what not, anytime money is needed, just like the federal government, all they need to do is go to the public and raise taxes. Unions SUCK. They have way too much power. They were good and indeed played a positive role during the "Sweat Shops" era, but they should be abolished now. Also, pension plans, retirement plans, what a sweet deal for them. But hello, they too should be moved to self-funded/self-managed 401k plans like the rest of the working world. But the unions won't allow that."
wrote, "Oh my god - now the teaching salaries are being compared to the crooks on Wall St. The teachers did not cause the economic collapse. Leave them alone. And unions are the backbone of this country! Whether its the electricians, the plumbers, the steel workers, or the teachers. Unions built this country. Don't be such a sore loser!"
said, "Thank you Jim, please don't let teachers & their spouses shut you down. I haven't had a raise in 2 years & for my husband it's been 4. Like you said, the PTA doesn't mention the teachers "contract raises". Dr.james also has some nerve with the salary & benefits he receives. He lives in Commack and takes a car allowance?! what a disappointment he is. Greed."
wrote, "What's most frightening about the support you are receiving Jim is that those who are swayed by your manipulation of information fail to ask this question:
How many children do you have in the school system? NONE. In fact, I believe you are so involved, for the first time, because your children are no longer students here. In short, you no longer have anything to lose YET a great many whose children will suffer blindly tie their allegiance to someone whose children have reaped the benefits of Commack education BUT who decided to take a stand when his children will not be impact. However, your pocketbook stands to benefit while our children lose the opportunities yours were given."
said, "I agree with what Jim has to say, I will vote no on the budget and I HAVE three children in three different schools in Commack. I believe what Jim is saying (and what most of us have been thinking) has nothing to do with his children being or not being in the schools anymore! This has to do with being a taxpayer and being overburdened year after year - the increases are not going to my children they are going to a broken system of overspending!"
commented, "You wait and see what your children have left if the budget doesn't pass. You are penny wise and pound foolish."
wrote, "Whats going to happen? Will the sky fall? Will my kids have to take notes on a piece of slate and write with a rock? Asking for fiscal responsibility is not selfish. People do it every day under their own roofs. This Board and the entire Long Island school system has shown us that when unchecked, the power to tax is simply dangerous."
wrote, ""Instead of spending that $250 how you would like, give it to us as we can spend it much wiser than you can. Oh, your just scraping by right now? Pay us more anyway because we need it more than you do. you should be ashamed of yourself for not wanting to pay more"
wrote, "Let us remember that the teachers have a life time of influence on our kids. I don't think that many people will disagree that a good teacher is priceless. However, we have to stop the name calling and work together to find a solution. Jim, your research has been very well crafted. Thank you!
For those who say, "costs never go down" never bought a computer in the 1990's. How much was the first big screen tv?
We, as a member of society, must deal with the fact that the entitlements, that currently exist, will have to change. I wish that was not the case. However, it is reality.
I do not mean to bash teachers, however lets remember when we are comparing salaries, we are comparing apples to oranges. Most people do not work 184 days a year and less then 40 hours a week. When we discuss salaries, one must include all compensation paid (i.e. benefits) to make an accurate accessment. Unfortunately, the system is set up that great teachers make the same as teachers who just get by. I am in favor of paying those teachers that go above and beyond more then what they currently are receiving. However, defining a system to monitor that would be a difficult task. However, if we can put a man on th emoon we should be able to figure it out."